Facelift Surgery – Procedure, Preparation, Results, Risks & Recovery

Rhytidectomy or facelift is a cosmetic surgery intended to remove the wrinkles and give the face a youthful appearance. It involves various surgical techniques and exercises.  Some of the signs of ageing on which facelift works are-

  • Sagginess.
  • Deep creases under eyelids.
  • Creases along the nose stretching all the way to corners of the mouth.
  • Loose skin.
  • Loose or misplaced fat.
  • Fatty deposits around the area of chins.
WHAT IS A PROCEDURE?

The procedures to perform rhytidectomy are many and depends on many factors. The age, texture, and requirement of the skin of the patient are taken into consideration. A patient may be consulted multiple times before proceeding with the surgery. Typically, an incision is made around the hairline, starting from the temple and curves around the earlobe, ending at the end of the hairline. After the incision, the skin is separated from the deeper layers, mainly fat and muscles. If there is excess fat, it is removed through liposuction. During this step of procedure, the doctor attempts to tighten the layer of tissue beneath the skin (called SMAS or superficial musculoaponeurotic system) by folding it over itself, thus giving the cheeks and jawline a proper and distinct definition. If there is any fat left, it is removed by the doctors with the help of a surgical knife or laser. Finally, the skin is re-draped and closed with staples and sutures.

WHY DO YOU NEED A PROCEDURE?

Loss Of Elasticity

As the clock ticks by, the skin loses its elasticity. The facial muscles lose their tone. While there are exercises for the skin to regain its elasticity, a facelift will have a permanent effect. Usually, the need arises around the 30s which is the right time to opt for a facelift, since minimum surgeries will be involved.

Fatigued Or Worn Out Appearance

As one starts to age, a constant tiredness tends to appear on face. This is the kind of tiredness which does not go away, no matter how much you sleep. Mini facelifts and eyelid surgeries can be opted to get a permanent riddance of this tired skin.

Prominent Wrinkles And Fine Lines

Almost people of all age groups have wrinkles and lines on their faces. But as the age gradually increases, these wrinkles become quite prominent and appear all over your face. In such cases, a facelift procedure is a good way to get of these wrinkles for a long, long time.

Creases Around Nose And Mouth

This problem is a bit trickier than the others since it might have complications in the long run, too. The surgery helps in repositioning facial procedures by stimulating the facial nerves.

Saggy Neckline

Droopy neck and chins can be corrected with the help of a facelift. It gives a distinct definition to the jawline and chin. Sometimes, a double chin appears even though the person isn’t obese. These problems can be tackled with the help of a facelift.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PROCEDURE?

Every medical procedure or surgery needs a certain number of instructions to be followed. There are several suggestions, Dos, and Don’ts to it. Here are a few things you can keep in mind before going for a procedure-

Meet Your Doctor

This is the most useful crumb of counsel you can come across. Book one or several appointments with your doctor. No one knows your body and requirements better than him. Have a good, long talk with your doctor regarding the procedure. Flood him with all the questions and thoughts you have about it. It is extremely important to clear your doubts before going under the knife.

Medical Tests And Evaluations

After having a talk with your doctor, go for the tests prescribed by him. These tests usually include a blood test, etc. You might also be asked to undergo tests to check your physical fitness. These are, however, completely exclusive to your consulting doctor and varies, sparing some common tests. It is a very important step, so, make sure that you do not skip it.

Stop The Intake Of Blood Thinners

This might be one of the most vital steps if your medications include aspirin or any other blood thinners. Certain vitamins and homoeopathic medicines are known to be thinning agents. Talk to your doctor and stop the consumption of these medicines temporarily. You might take alternatives after a proper consultation with your doctor.

Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, stop smoking completely at least six weeks prior to the procedure. Smoking can create complications such as slowing down the recovery of wounds.

Stay Hydrated

Drink ample amount of water and liquids like juices, to keep your body hydrated. Good hydration ensures a fast and speedy recovery.

PROCEDURE

There are various kinds of methods to perform the procedure of facelift. While some of them only deal with the skin, some techniques reposition the facial tissues and muscles. Some of the techniques are:

SMAS Lift

The SMAS or superficial musculoaponeurotic system is layer beneath the skin consisting of tissues and suspensory ligaments. In this technique, the doctor attempts to tighten the skin by folding the layers over each other, thus giving the jawline and cheeks, a definite shape.

Mini Facelift

This is a great option for people with premature ageing. This technique is the least invasive and involves the least number of cuts and incisions. It is a temporary solution in comparison to the other techniques.

Skin-only Facelift

In this technique, only the skin is lifted while others tissues, muscles, including the SMAS remain unattended to. This procedure is very short lived and the problems might surface again soon, but, in comparison to the other techniques, it has fewer risks and complications.

Composite And Deep-plane Facelifts

Two of them are different techniques in which deeper muscles and tissues of the skin are repositioned and fixated. These procedures are riskier and have more complications but assure a long-term solution to the problems of the skin.

RESULTS

Here are some results that you can expect after the procedure.

  • Like every other process, the facelift has its own advantages and disadvantages.
  • Facelift can only reduce the signs of ageing, and not reverse it. Ageing is a natural process. No matter how advanced a technique you use, sooner or later, the signs will resurface.
  • The skin will look younger for a couple of years until signs of ageing begin to appear again. Like it has been mentioned before, ageing is a natural process, and you can do little to completely defy it.
  • Ideally, the impact of the surgery can be seen for three to six years, depending on the methods used.
  • The results aren’t instant. The results can only be viewed after the swelling, etc from the surgery subside. This might take a couple of days or weeks. Be patient.

•    Sometimes, one surgery is not enough. Have a talk with your doctor if you are not satisfied with the results and work out a solution accordingly.

POTENTIAL RISKS OF A PROCEDURE

Everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. And when it comes to medical procedures, the limitations usually have a higher stake. Make sure that you go through the consent form to understand the complications better. Here are some potential risks associated with the facelift surgery:

Facial Nerve Injury

One of the biggest risks of facelift is facial nerve injury. Any damage to facial nerve might result in complete disfiguration of face or even worse, paralysis.

Bleeding

One of the most common risks when it comes to operations and surgeries is bleeding. Thereby, it is necessary to stop the intake of aspirins and other blood thinners days before the procedure. If the bleeding does not stop, many complications might arise. One more important factor to mention when we talk about bleeding is Vitamin K. The presence of Vitamin K in blood causes the clotting of blood. The presence of vitamin K checks profuse blood flow.

Pain

The face and neck are extremely sensitive areas of our body. As soon as the effect of anaesthesia will start to fade out, the patient will feel pangs of pain, ranging from mild to severe. However, with the right dosage of painkillers, the pain will fade out soon. If the pain persists, the patient must consult the doctor soon.

Infection

Mainly, there are two major reasons for infection. The first one being the use of unclean instruments. If the instruments are not sterilised or disinfected, it might pose as a problem. But such cases are rare. The second and the most common way to catch an infection is taking hygiene lightly. Make sure that your surroundings are clean if you want to avoid infections.

Unsatisfactory Results

Sometimes, the results do not turn out the way you had expected them to be. It might result in asymmetrical features or other deformities. These might be corrected with the help of another surgery or might stay forever.

Some other risks include:

  • Numbness
  • Persistent Pain
  • Accumulation of Fluid

•    Hair-loss at the point of incisions

RECOVERY

You need enough time to recover from any medical procedure. Here is how you can pave your way to a speedy one:

Avoid The Sun

For the first few weeks of surgery, avoid going out in the sun completely. The harmful UV rays of sun cause patches and discolouration of the skin. Whenever you decide to step out in sun, slather your skin with lots of sunscreens. Go for a good sunscreen, with good amounts of zinc oxide in it. However, the best option is to consult a doctor for the same.

Cut The Cosmetics

Try not to use anything on the skin for at least a couple of months. Your newly repaired skin needs time to breathe. Using harsh products on the skin might make the whole surgery futile. Go for the products suggested by your doctor. They are often mild, medicated, and gentle on freshly operated skin.

Eat Healthily

Having a good diet is extremely important for a fast recovery. Add a lot of proteins, vitamins, and minerals to the diet. Vitamin C encourages the production of collagen while Vitamin E helps the scars to heal faster. Vitamin A keeps the skin moist a and Vitamin B12 encourages the production of new skin cells. Intake of protein and meat increases the elasticity of skin. Also, do not forget to drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Quit Smoking

While this is absolutely a personal choice, you might give it a try. Not only does nicotine slows down the process of healing but also causes the skin to age more rapidly, giving it a worn-out look.

FAQs

How much time does the procedure take?

A- The surgery is generally out-patient and usually takes two to three hours. However, depending on the requirement the surgery can be performed in-patient, too.

What kind of anaesthesia is used?

A- Ideally, a general anaesthesia is used. Depending on the requirement, a local one with sedation can also be used.

Is it permanent?

A- No. It is not. Facelifts can only reduce the signs of ageing. Ageing is a natural process and no matter how advanced the techniques are, they cannot defy the nature’s law. Sooner or later, the signs will reappear.

How long can I expect the results to stay?

A- The answer varies. There are many methods to perform the procedure, each dealing with different aspects of skin. While some techniques only lift the outer skin, some reposition the tissues beneath it. Ideally, the minimum time you can expect the results to stay is 6 months to a year. Similarly, the maximum time period ranges from 3 to 5 years.

Is the procedure risky?

A- Every medical procedure has its own risks. So does a facelift or rhytidectomy. It is completely a personal choice whether you want to look beyond the complications and go under the knife or not.

WHY APOLLO SPECTRA?

Apollo Spectra is your one-stop destination if you are looking for a young, natural appearance. There are various options when it comes to facelift. Our certified specialists will carefully examine your face and discuss the specific benefits of each procedure to achieve successful results.